- Titusville, Pennsylvania
name = Titusville
official_name = City of Titusville
category = City
symbol_type = Seal
etymology_type = Named for
etymology = Johnathan Titus
nickname = Birthplace of the Oil Industry
country = United States
state = Pennsylvania
region_type = County
region = Crawford County
area_imperial = 7.5
lat_d = 41
lat_m = 37
lat_s = 45
lat_NS = N
long_d = 79
long_m = 40
long_s = 28
long_EW = W
coordinates_type = region:US_type:city
population_as_of = 2000
population = 6146
population_density_imperial = 943.7
established_type = Founded
established = 1796
established1_type = Incorporated (borough)
established1 = 1847
established2_type = Incorporated (city)
established2 = 1866
mayor = Brian Sanford
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -4
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code = 16354
area_code = 814
map_caption = Location of Titusville within Pennsylvania
map_locator = Pennsylvania
map1 = Map of USA PA.svg
map1_caption = Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
website = [http://www.titusvillepa.com www.titusvillepa.com]
Titusville is a city in Crawford County,
Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,146 at the 2000 census. In 1859, oil was successfully drilled in Titusville, resulting in the birth of the modern oil industry. [Edwin Lieuwen, Petroleum In Venezuela, (University of California Press, 1954), 4.]
The area was first settled in 1796 by
Jonathan Titus. Within 14 years, others bought and improved the land lying near him, along the banks of the now-named Oil Creek. He named the village Edinburg(h), but as the village grew, the settlers began to call this little hamlet Titusville. The village was incorporated as a borough in 1847. Lumberwas the principal industry with at least 17 sawmills in the area.
Titusville was a slow-growing and peaceful community until the 1850s, when the discovery of
petroleumin the region caused quite the stir. Oil was known to exist here, but there was no practical way to extract it. Generally, its main use to that time had been as a medicine for both animals and humans. In the late 1850s Seneca Oil Company (formerly the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company) sent Col. Edwin L. Drake, to start drilling on a piece of leased land just south of Titusville near what is now Oil Creek State Park. Drake hired a salt well driller, William A. Smith, in the summer of 1859. They had many difficulties, but on August 27at the site of an oil spring just south of Titusville, they finally drilled a well that could be commercially successful. Teamsters were needed immediately to transport the oil to markets. Transporting methods improved and in 1862 the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad was built between Titusville and Corry where it was transferred to other, larger, east-west lines. In 1865 pipelines were laid directly to the rail line and the demand for teamsters practically ended. The next year the railroad line was extended south to Petroleum Centre and Oil City. The Union City & Titusville Railroad was built in 1865, which became part of the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad in 1871. That fall, President U. S. Grantvisited Titusville to view this important region.
Other oil-related businesses quickly exploded on the scene. Eight refineries were built between 1862 and 1868. Drilling tools were needed and several iron works were built. Titusville grew from 250 residents to 10,000 almost overnight and in 1866 it incorporated as a city. In 1871, the first oil exchange in the United States was established here. The exchange moved from the city, but returned in 1881 in a new, brick building before being dissolved in 1897. [http://www.explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=447 (Explore PA History, Accessed August 08, 2008)]
The first oil
millionairewas Jonathan Watson, a resident of Titusville. He owned the land where Drake's well was drilled. He had been a partner in a lumber business prior to the success of the Drake well. At one time it was said that Titusville had more millionaires per 1,000 population than anywhere else in the world.
One resident of note was Franklin S. Tarbell whose large Italianate home still stands. He first moved a few miles south in Venango County and established a wooden stock tank business. About convert|10|mi|km southeast of Titusville was another oil boom city, Pithole. Oil was discovered in a rolling meadow there in January 1865 and by September 1865 the population was 15,000. But the oil soon ran dry and within four years the city was nearly deserted. Tarbell moved to Titusville in 1870. His daughter, Ida Minerva Tarbell, grew up amidst the sounds and smells of the oil industry. She became an accomplished writer and wrote a series of articles about the business practices of the
Standard Oil Companyand its president, John D. Rockefeller, which sparked legislative action in Congress concerning monopolies.
Fire was always a fearful concern around oil and one of the worst was on June 11, 1880. It came to be known as "Black Friday," when almost convert|300000|oilbbl|m3 of oil burned after an oil tank was hit by lightning. The fire raged for three days until it finally was brought under control. Although the oil was valued at $2 million, there was no loss of life. Another fire occurred on June 5, 1892, when Oil Creek flooded and a tank of
petroleum etheroverturned. The petroleum etherignited and in the ensuing explosions 60 men, women and children died. Another lightning strike in 1894 resulted in convert|27000|oilbbl|m3 lost in a fire.
Oil production in
Pennsylvaniapeaked in 1891, when other industries arose in Titusville. The iron and steel industries dominated the town in the early twentieth century with lumber eventually reclaiming its former cachet. Oil is still relevant, however. Charter Plastics Company, now located in a building that once manufactured pressure vessels, stationary engines and boilers for the oil industry, uses oil in its production process.
Titusville is located at coor dms|41|37|45|N|79|40|28|W|city (41.629267, -79.674386).GR|1
According to the
United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of convert|7.5|km2|sqmi|1, all land.
As of the
censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 6,146 people, 2,523 households, and 1,541 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 2,115.2 people per square mile (815.5/km²). There were 2,742 housing units at an average density of 943.7/sq mi (363.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.58% White, 1.20% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.85% of the population.
There were 2,523 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 82.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,945, and the median income for a family was $36,679. Males had a median income of $27,283 versus $20,458 for females. The
per capita incomefor the city was $16,915. About 13.0% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.
Public education is provided through the
Titusville Area School District.
The city is home to the
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville, a branch campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
Tourism and recreation
Drake Well Museumis a convert|290|acre|km2|sing=on park where Colonel Edwin Drake successfully drilled for oil. It consists of a museum with artifacts, outdoor operating oil field equipment and a research library with photographs, manuscripts and more. The Drake Well Replica operates from May - September but the site and museum are open year round with frequent demonstrations and tours. [http://www.drakewell.org]
The [http://www.octrr.org/ OC&T (Oil Creek and Titusville)] Railroad has a station in Titusville. This scenic ride takes travellers to the nearby city of Oil City, Pa.
People from Titusville
William Henry Andrews(1846-1919), Politician
Ruth McCombs Harkness(1900-1947), Fashion designer and first person to bring a giant pandato the United StatesFact|date=July 2008
John Heisman(1869-1936), American football player and coach
Paul S. L. Johnson(1873-1950), American scholar and pastor
John E. Peterson(b. 1938), US Congressman
Jeannie Seely(b. 1940), Country music singer
Drake Well Museum
* [http://octrr.clarion.edu/ Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad]
* [http://titusvillepa.com/ Titusville Community Website]
* [http://gorockets.com/ Titusville Area School District]
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